The happiness we receive from ourselves is greater than that which we obtain from our surroundings.
Every possession and every happiness is but lent by chance for an uncertain time, and may therefore be demanded back the next hour.
Men need some kind of external activity, because they are inactive within.
The greatest achievements of the human mind are generally received with distrust.
Music is an unconscious exercise in metaphysics in which the mind does not know it is philosophizing.
Life is an unpleasant business. I have resolved to spend mine reflecting on it.
No one writes anything worth writing, unless he writes entirely for the sake of his subject.
Life may be compared to a piece of embroidery, of which, during the first half of his time, a man gets a sight of the right side, and during the second half, of the wrong. The wrong side is not so pretty as the right, but it is more instructive; it shows the way in which the threads have been worked together.
As the biggest library if it is in disorder is not as useful as a small but well-arranged one, so you may accumulate a vast amount of knowledge but it will be of far less value to you than a much smaller amount if you have not thought it over for yourself.
No animal ever torments another for the mere purpose of tormenting, but man does it, and it is this that constitutes the diabolical feature in his character which is so much worse than the merely animal.
Beauty is an open letter of recommendation, predisposing the heart to favor the person who presents it.
The negativity of well-being and happiness, in antithesis to the positivity of pain.
You can apply yourself voluntarily to reading and learning, but you cannot really apply yourself to thinking: thinking have to be kindled, as a fire is by a draught, and kept going by some kind of interest in its object, which may be an objective interest or merely a subjective one.
Everywhere where detestable Islam has not yet driven out the ancient, profound religions of humanity with fire and sword, my ascetic results would have to fear the reproach of being trivial.
In the end every one stands alone, and the important thing is who it is that stands alone.
A man's delight in looking forward to and hoping for some particular satisfaction is a part of the pleasure flowing out of it, enjoyed in advance. But this is afterward deducted, for the more we look forward to anything the less we enjoy it when it comes.
Clio, the muse of history, is as thoroughly infected with lies as a street whore with syphilis.
If we are distracted and read thoughtlessly, and then realize that we have indeed taken in all the words, but no concepts.
I believe that when death closes our eyes we shall awaken to a light, of which our sunlight is but the shadow.
Genius is an intellect that has become unfaithful to its destiny.
The conviction is well founded, which the sight of noble conduct calls forth, that the spirit of love... can never pass away and become nothing.
Dialectic is the art of intellectual fencing; and it is only when we so regard it that we can erect it into a branch of knowledge.
There is no happiness on earth to compare with that which a beautiful and fruitful mind finds in a propitious hour within itself.
Every fulfilled wish we wrest from the world is really like alms that keep the beggar alive today so that he can starve again tomorrow.
Our life is to be regarded as a loan received from death, with sleep as the daily interest on this loan.
Boredom is certainly not an evil to be taken lightly: it will ultimately etch lines of true despair onto a face. It makes beings with as little love for each other as humans nonetheless seek each other with such intensity, and in this way becomes the source of sociability.
It often happens that we blurt out things that may in some kind of way be harmful to us, but we are silent about things that may make us look ridiculous; because in this case effect follows very quickly on cause.
All geniuses are peculiarly inclined to solitude, to which they are driven as much by their difference from others as the inner wealth with which they are quipped, since among humans, among diamonds, only the uncommonly great are suited as solitaires: the ordinary ones must be set in clusters to produce any effect.
Each day is a little life: every waking and rising a little birth, every fresh morning a little youth, every going to rest and sleep a little death.
The wise have always said the same things, and fools, who are the majority have always done just the opposite.
What a person is for himself, what abides with him in his loneliness and isolation, and what no one can give or take away from him, this is obviously more essential for him than everything that he possesses or what he may be in the eyes of others...
A spring never free from the pressure of some foreign body at last loses its elasticity; and so does the mind if other people's thoughts are constantly forced upon it.
Only the carrying out stamps the resolve; till then, it is always a mere intention that can be altered; it exists only in reason, in the abstract. Only in reflection are willing and acting different; in reality they are one.
That which knows all things and is known by none is the subject.
The way to keep down hatred and contempt is certainly not to look for a man's alleged "dignity," but, on the contrary, to regard him as an object of pity.
The actual life of a thought lasts only until it reaches the point of speech...As soon as our thinking has found words it ceases to be sincere...When it begins to exist in others it ceases to live in us, just as the child severs itself from its mother when it enters into its own existence.
The safest way of not being very miserable is not to expect to be very happy.
For it is a matter of daily observation that people take the greatest pleasure in that which satisfies their vanity; and vanity cannot be satisfied without comparison with others.
Conscience accompanies every act with the comment: You should act differently, although its true sense is: You could be other than you are.
The assumption that animals are without rights and the illusion that our treatment of them has no moral significance is a positively outrageous example of Western crudity and barbarity. Universal compassion is the only guarantee of morality.
When some political or ecclesiastical pamphlet, or novel, or poem is making a great commotion, you should remember that he who writes for fools always finds a large public.
As Epictetus says, Men are not influenced by things, but by their thoughts about things.
Sometimes I speak to men and women just as a little girl speaks to her doll. She knows, of course, that the doll does not understand her, but she creates for herself the joy of communication through a pleasant and conscious self-deception.